A newsletter for friends of the Global Mission Institute, Luther Seminary

Global Vision - Spring 2009

View more articles in the Spring 2009 issue.

Luther Seminary to Display the He Qi/"Women of Hope" Quilt

by Natalie Gessert, M.Div. Sr.

At 22-by-24 feet and approximately 65 pounds, the He Qi/"Women of Hope" quilt tells a missional story of Christian witness through vibrant colors and illustrations of three biblical stories of "accompaniment."

Created by participants in "Women of Hope," a program of the Mashiah Foundation, Jos, Nigeria, the quilt design is based upon the artwork of Dr. He Qi, a Chinese Christian artist known for his brilliant, colorful and contemporary paintings that set Bible stories in a Chinese context.

The program Women of Hope gives support to Nigerian women who have suffered stigma due to their HIV-positive status. Thirteen talented women from this organization spent several weeks piecing, machining and assembling the quilt.

Dr. He Qi's paintings served as the centerpiece of the 2008 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's (ELCA) Global Mission Event, and the quilt served as the stage backdrop.

The quilt travels around the country and will be on display at Luther Seminary from March 24-May 24, 2009.

Luther Seminary Community Welcomes the Quilt

The Global Mission Institute (GMI) and the Fine Arts Committee of Luther Seminary are co-sponsors of the on-campus display of the quilt, which will hang in the Olson Campus Center.

Chenar Howard, GMI Program & Relations Coordinator, says of the quilt, "this breathtaking quilt stitched by HIV-positive Christian Nigerian women, from designs by a Chinese Christian artist, commissioned by a Lutheran church-body in the United States, and coming to hang in one of the theological institutions in the Midwest is the work of the global church at its finest.  Indeed, we have been just as beautifully made and woven together as brothers and sisters in Christ."

The quilt can be viewed during Olson Campus Center hours:

  • Mon.-Thurs.: 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
  • Fri.: 7 a.m.-7:30 pm
  • Sat.: 9:30 a.m.-6:30 pm
  • Sun.: 2-6:30 p.m.

(Weekend hours subject to change due to events.)

Who is my neighbor?

In his artwork commissioned for the ELCA Global Mission Event, He Qi asks, "Who is my neighbor?" using the stories of Ruth and Naomi, the woman caught in adultery from the Gospel of John, and an encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus.

  • In the story of Ruth and Naomi, we see Ruth's willingness to embrace the culture and faith of her mother-in-law. "Your people shall be my people, and your God my God." (Ruth 1:16)

  • In the story of the woman caught in adultery, we see how Jesus places himself between those who judge and are judged in order to protect those who are excluded.

  • And in the Emmaus story, we see Jesus, now resurrected, return to accompany, teach, serve, and eat among his disciples, so that the world might believe.

About He Qi

The Far Eastern Economic Review says Dr. He Qi "ranks as arguably China's most sought-after contemporary Christian artist." His brilliant, colorful and contemporary paintings, which set Bible stories in a Chinese context, are very familiar to Lutherans.

A painting by Dr. He Qi introduces the Holy Communion section in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (see page 89). The 1997 logo for the Lutheran World Federation was designed by Dr. He Qi, who twice has shared his story and art at ELCA Global Mission Events.

A professor at the Nanjing Union Theological Seminary and a tutor for master candidate students in the Philosophy Department of Nanjing University, he is also a member of the China Art Association and a council member of the Asian Christian Art Association.

About the Masiah Foundation

Women of Hope is part of the Mashiah Foundation, which focuses on the needs of those living with HIV and works to prevent its spread. With solid support from the ELCA, the Mashiah Foundation's holistic HIV and AIDS education, prevention, testing, counseling and health program ministry is making a difference in Jos.

The ELCA supports Women of Hope and the Mashiah Foundation with an annual grant funded by the World Hunger Appeal, staff salaries for missionaries Bayo and Mary Beth Oyebade, and designated gifts through Global Giving.

Host the quilt in your congregation!

The quilt is available for ELCA congregations hosting an event with more than 600 participants.

Information about ELCA Global Mission is at www.ELCA.org/globalmission. To reserve the quilt, call 800-638-2522 ext. 2448.

Find a downloadable .PDF brochure about the quilt here